The Treasury Department sent nearly 1.1 million checks with a total value of nearly $1.4 billion to citizens who have already died as part of the fiscal stimulus package in response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported.
The report said that, given the mandate to deliver the money “as soon as possible,” the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sent the first three sets of payments using operational practices that “did not include the use of death records as a filter to stop payments to citizens already dead.
As part of the stimulus package passed by Congress in March, citizens with incomes under $75,000 a year received checks worth $1,200, with an additional $500 payment for children under 17.
In early May, the Treasury realized the error and began filtering the mailings.
The figure, however, is low compared to the total of $270 billion disbursed in 160 million payments at the end of May.
This ruling is known at the same time that the Administration of the US President, Donald Trump, is considering implementing a second plan to support citizens and businesses in the face of the prolonged negative effects of the coronavirus crisis, which has already caused more than 120,000 deaths in the country.
The measures of social distancing and restriction of mobility, some of which were partially lifted, caused a sudden halt in economic activity.
The unemployment rate, which started the year at 3.5%, shot up to 14.7% in April, but dropped slightly to 13.3% in May as businesses reopened.